Kyle Wittingham was introduced as Utah's new head coach at a press conference this afternoon.
Dec. 8, 2004
Utah Athletic Director Dr. Chris Hill
It's a big day for the university with whom we are going to hire. Our future is very, very bright. It's never been brighter at the university and I think we have the foundation now to be a high-quality athletic program. I think we've learned a lot over the past couple of years about how important football is to an institution.
The search process can be different every single time. I think you have to take a look at it every time you do it and you have to clean the deck and do what's best. I met with Kyle this summer for breakfast and we were pretending to get to know each other and chat. I think that was our first interview weather or not he knew it, I knew it.
I got the call from Urban on Friday at noon. I called Kyle at one, we met at three, came home at five and I told (my wife) Kathy that this was our guy and we had to figure out how to get him. I'm so excited that he's on our staff now and he's going to be our head coach. I've admired Kyle for a long time, maybe more than he knows. I've really come to appreciate him more the last couple of years. I know he's met so many different challenges and has been such a stable force and been such a positive person. He's been so unwavering with his commitment to his players. When you go out to look for a football coach, you look for a leader and someone who has discipline.
People talked to me about continuity and earning their way as they mention Kyle. I told Kyle that I had heard these things when I talked to him on Friday. But, I said to him, "Do you know why you're sitting in my room? Do you know why you're sitting across from me? Those things are nice but you're good. You're darn good." And, that's why I want him to be our coach at the University of Utah.
Utah Head Coach Kyle Wittingham
It's been a long five days. I have lost 11 pounds and got about 11 hours of sleep total. So, bear with me on this. I would like to thank Dr. Young and Dr. Hill for giving me this opportunity. It's a great opportunity, one I've had my eye on for 11 years now. I'm just thrilled to be in this position.
It was a difficult decision. That's no secret. I'm sorry how it turned out as far as turning this thing into a dog-and-pony show. That was not my intention. This wasn't about money. I haven't even spent $100 on me this year!
It was a situation where for me, the best fit and the place I wanted to be was the University of Utah. I'm loyal to these players and this university. This is where I want to be.
I'm excited about this job. It's a great job and it's a great university. It's the best job in this conference and one of the best jobs in the country. I'm excited about keeping what we had going with Meyer in place - the discipline, the structure, the academics. Everything he put in place I firmly believe in. It's not going to be "Urban Meyer Part 2." It's going to be the same thing you got with my flavor and my personality added to it. I'm excited about the direction that we're heading.
The expectations are high. This was a heck of a year. We went 11-0 and the bar has been set very high. But, it doesn't scare me whatsoever. It's a situation that I welcome. It's a challenge that I welcome.
Utah President Dr. Michael K. Young
I can't tell you how delighted I am to have this press conference here today to announce our new (football) coach. It's important for me to stress how much we appreciate what Urban (Meyer) has done for this team, this university and the community. We are sorry to lose him and wish him well in every game he plays. I do want to start with an expression of appreciation for what he has done for us.
From the very beginning, our attention was focused on coach (Kyle) Wittingham. He had been here 11 years and has built an extraordinary defense. He has a terrific understanding of our program and has contributed so enormously to it. It is with great delight that we were able to persuade that this was the right opportunity for him because it was certainly the right thing for the University of Utah.
Defensive back Morgan Scalley
It's huge to get Coach Witt as head coach. I can't tell you how much the team respects him, how much it loves him. To finally have Wittingham as a head coach means a lot. He knows what we have been through, knows what we expect out ourselves. He's someone that has the same vision as we do. He's a great leader and he's going to lead this team to a lot of wins.
Defensive back Eric Weddle
I think that it's unbelievable that I guy whom I have grown so close to has been named to the head job. It's huge to have him here at Utah. We're not going to miss a beat with him. He's the right guy for the job.